We All Need A Vacation

Salutations!

I’M BAAAAACK.

It has been a while to say the least.

I invested some time in what some would call, a spiritual vacation of the mind, body, and soul. In other words, I truly invested some blood, sweat and tears towards creating a happier, truly more peaceful version of myself. While I am still in the works of finding that permanent serenity, this whole peaceful vacation began when my phone broke, which was a blessing in disguise. I took this upon myself to recognize that there was a certain, almost disgustingly addictive, silence and freedom that came from a break from my virtual reality.

I took a break from socializing virtually, and really attempted to find some focus, happiness, stability and consistency within my concrete life. The beautiful part of this decision to part from my social media was that so much beauty came from this spiritual vacation, including a break from constantly needing to be concerned, be worried, or feel a constant pressure from social media. I truly had to a chance to be present and make this time away from technology a great time for myself.

To go on, I did not replace my phone for about three months. I truly took a vacation of my own, however, I was able to invest myself in so many other more meaningful lights that I am almost certain that if I had no gone through with this virtual vacation, things would not have turned out so great for me. This is probably because social media takes up a lot more time and is somewhat utilized as a tool in my life. I learned how unimportant social media was, but also how powerful it still is in our society, through my break from technology. A break from this world was exactly what came to me, whether I was ready to accept it or not.

I focused on REAL self-care, not just a virtual perception of self-care. I engaged in daily cardio, which my soul needed. I began picking up legitimate responsibilities in many facets of my life, and I also focused on truly making attempts to make things, and certain circumstances, better for myself, rather than just accepting mediocre standards of life. I craved more sensibility and found comfort with myself much more, which I found has been difficult, during many times of my life.

I forced myself to make commitments, and while I am still nervous about the idea of commitments to anything, I am making efforts towards attempting to accept commitments.

While so much good has come out of this time away from distractions, many days can often be difficult, tiring and still stressful for me. I have had to put in a lot of hard work, in order to receive my hard work back in many mysterious ways, but I am thankful nonetheless

In contrast to all this good news, I also reconfirmed that I am lactose intolerant. While I will not divulge too much about it now, I will be the first to let you know that making lifestyle changes, such as cutting dairy out of my daily diet, has served as difficult, as well as caused me much discomfort and bloating. I have found my stomach to be much more sensitive than I would like it to be, which has truly forced me to make changes in more ways than one.

I still love coffee, hiking, photography, social media, shopping, my loved ones, and dogs, however, I am very proud of myself and have made some newsworthy growth.

With that said, a rut and a vacation is sometimes all we need to find some god-forsaken happiness.

I still love creating, sharing, and blogging, and am hoping to invest more time and effort to creating some incredible content for this upcoming year!

Good things are coming this year! I hope the same for all.

I hope everyone has an wonderful day!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Tricks To Tame Anxiety

1. Acknowledge that you are experiencing anxiety of any sort

2. Focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth

Focus on one thing at a time. Try to get tunnel vision and simply just focus on yourself and your breathing.

3. Repeat to yourself positive, motivating, and reaffirming statements.

Statements that involve the phrase, “I can” are recommended. “I am okay” and “everything is going to be okay” are great, as well.

Anything involving negative statements or negative words are not invited to this exclusive VIP party.

3. Play music that makes you happy

I prefer songs that I can sing along to, or songs from the 90s and the early 2000s.

Music, such as instrumental music, classical music, or peaceful sounds of the ocean or rain, also have been proven to slow down your blood pressure.

4. Light some candles or incense

I love sparking up ten candles and getting an incense burning. There is something calming about burning candles and incense that can calm a mind down.

5. Try to stimulate as many senses, as possible

You have five senses, which include touch, smell, taste, hearing, and vision. Distracting your brain by stimulating as many of your senses as possible is a great solution to alleviating the extremity of your anxiety.

6. Take a hot shower, or a very cold shower

Shocking your body by bathing in somewhat extreme temperatures is a great way to reset your emotions. Your body’s initial shock to the temperature of the water, whether it be very hot or very cold, will help distract you from the anxiety that you may be feeling.

This is a great way to stimulate your senses and put your body in a somewhat calmer state.

I love taking long, hot showers!

7. Intensive Cardiovascular Exercise

A good, intensive cardio workout is a great way to alleviate some anxiety and release some stress. It is also a great distraction from anxiety, as you’re in too much pain and breathing too hard to even realize you are anxious.

I love hiking and try to hike three times a week! The trails I chose to hike usually involve intense and long spurts of uphill climbing. I purposely choose these trails, so I can ware myself down and hopefully get some peace. I tend to treat hikes as my form of physical exercise, so I push myself to go as fast as I can, without any stops, up the mountain.

Luckily, while I am working out, I am also able to enjoy nature and get some vitamin D. The sun and the great outdoors are great things and play a big role in maintaining a healthy mindset.

Not to mention, the views are spectacular! So, the visual stimulation is more than distracting.

Yoga is also great! It combines both exercise and meditation into one, which is like a two-in-one package deal.

Not to mention, they never stop reminding you to breathe and to focus on your breath.

8. Go outside!

I feel like I can breathe easier, even at such a high elevation, when I am outside.

9. Find Safe Things And/Or Places

Anything that feels safe, familiar or reminds you of good memories are things that you should acknowledge and utilize.

When people are experiencing anxiety or any kind of panic, the individual already feels uncomfortable. The last thing that you want is to continue to be uncomfortable in a place that makes you feel uncomfortable, or unsafe. This will only exasperate things!

Find your safe place and your haven.

Suffer in paradise and safety!

10. Lavender

Word on the street is that lavender is great for alleviating anxiety. So, stock up on lavender everything!

Lavendar incense, lavendar tea, lavendar plants, or lavendar essential oils – whatever you can get your hands on!

11. Drink Hot Herbal Tea

Avoid caffeine completely! Stick to herbal remedies, like peppermint tea, chamomile tea, etc.

12. Arts & Crafts

Being creative requires you to use the right side of your brain, a.k.a. you are utilizing your brain, all while distracting your brain, from the anxiety hanging over you.

I love to color! It has healed my soul and served to be such a calming activity.

13. Take Things Slow

Break things down and attempt to tackle your tasks at hand, instead of looking at everything as a huge hurdle that you could not possibly jump. Shorter hurdles are much easier to conceptualize.

Your brain will naturally attempt to complicate and further stress you out about your life, so try not to let yourself spiral.

I love making to-do lists, and breaking down all my tasks and writing it down on paper.

14. There Is Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

This is not your fault. The last thing you need to be doing is blaming yourself, or feeling ashamed.

Ooops, do not forget to breathe.

15. Be Patient With Yourself

This will not be over immediately. If your anxiety is immediately resolved, then that is a miracle!

From experience, as I am trying to come out of an anxious state, I have found that it comes to me in waves. It can be extremely frustrating, but attempting to remain calm is the key.

16. Remind Yourself That You Are In Control

In order to regain control of your anxiety, it is vital that you attempt to remain as calm as possible.

It may take a few tries, or you may not even succeed, but keep trying! You are a warrior.

17. Even If You Fall Victim To Your Anxiety, You Are Strong And That Is Okay

Stop punishing yourself.

Sometimes, you have to accept the fact that your anxiety, or stress, was so overwhelming that it got the best of you, even if you put up a good, hard fight.

You cannot win every battle. But, do remember to fight the good fight.

Feel free to share your tips for alleviating your anxiety!

Just breathe, or find the take a chill pill, right?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

June Reflections

The month of June has been extremely exciting, frustrating, stressful, kind, postive, and incredible all at the same time. It is safe to say that is has been a very emotional month for me, full of more incredible memories than bad memories.

I am still continuing to learn, grow, and mature, as the days come to me. I am still making mistakes, though…I am still a human being, and unfortunately, I make plenty of mistakes.
But, what can I say? I am still young and still have a handful of mistakes to continue making.

This month was a month full of growth, re-discovery, discovery, panic, anger, happiness, emotions, and self-awareness.
The stress and the heat of the Summer was beginning to get to me by the middle of the month, as I realized that time was continuing to fly, with or without my consent. As a result, all the things that I had continued to procrastinate still were left undone and unresolved, leaving me in a state of panic.
At the same time that the stress was hitting me, my urge to spend every waking minute outside, playing and enjoying the Sun, began emerging, with or without my consent. I found myself constantly wanting to enjoy my days, doing only things that I wanted to, not necessarily the things that I had to do, which only intensified my stress, as I often ended up choosing to enjoy my life.

I spent a lot of time this month focusing on having fun, or engaging in fun activities that I have always wanted to do, instead of constantly punishing myself for not working hard enough.

I can say with affirmation that I was much kinder to myself this month than I have been in a few years.
I am not ashamed to say that I do not regret any ounce of fun that I engaged in over the course of the last month, and I would not ever take it back.

I spent a lot more time outside, hanging out with friends, doing activities that I love, and learning to relax.
It was much more difficult than one would imagine.

Re-learning to relax, or to let myself relax and breathe, was extremely difficult.
In your head, it is quite simple, as breathing is one of those innate skills that should not take much energy, or stress, to execute. Unforunately, I completely forgot how to execute relaxing  and breathing recently, and re-learning to do something that I have not practiced in a while was difficult.

I am extremely proud of myself for allowing myself to get out of my own head, and finally allowing myself to forgive, to forget, and to just be.
My mind has been working extremely hard recently to hold me captive inside my thoughts, and it seemed like lately my head was the only place that I could reside in.
It seemed like most times I was unable to seperate myself from the capitivity of my head and my thoughts, which often made it extremely difficult for me to simply just enjoy the moments passing by and impeded my ability to have fun.

My prison sentence in the nearest federal brain prison has finally come to an end, and boy, am I glad that it is slowly coming to a stop.

This month, after finally learning to live outside of my brain, I was able to push myself outside of my comfort zone, as I stopped using my anxiety as a valid excuse for everything. Living outside of my head has truly helped me manage my anxiety and panic attacks to a certain extent.

While I still experienced some painful panic attacks, racing thoughts, etc., I have seen progress within my growth. I have been experimenting with various new coping mechanisms, in order to experience blissful states.
I never realized how much my own brain, my own thoughts, and my own irrational fears could take control of my life. Your brain is truly a powerful muscle!

I have been doing my best to take advantage of this new success that I have achieved by attempting to continue to grow and to continue becoming a better person every chance that I can.

Another thing that I have been working hard to do is to SLOW DOWN, in every way, shape, and form. My mind became overtly cluttered and chlosterphobic when I was unable to simply allow myself some time to slow down. When my mind is working faster than I am able to process my thoughts, my obligations, my anxieties, or my fears, I begin to immediately panic and begin feeling like I am drowning in my own thoughts, without a life vest.
Slowing down allows me to simply break down fears, obligations, stresses, etc., without exxassperating an already uncomfortable situation.

Entering every day with a strong and calm mindset is not something that can simply be done. It takes a lifetime of practice, as life is incredibly stressful.

My mind loves to wander, so it is especially important that I keep her on a short leash. In a matter of milliseconds, my mind can turn a seemingly achievable task into the MOST ENORMOUSLY TALL HURDLE TO EVER COME ACROSS. My mind also can turn into a torture chamber in a blink of an eye. As a result, I have made it an utmost priority to work on training myself on catching myself before I let my mind do such unspeakable things. These are all things that can be improved and helped, which is something that I continue to remind myself.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the beautiful life you live.
Learning to love yourself and be kind to yourself can be as simple as to stop saying that “you can’t” do something, or be better.

I am the most forgetful person when it comes to being kind to myself and learning to let myself enjoy life.
No matter what you have done, or what you are going to do, you deserve to be happy, to enjoy your life, and to have fun! You deserve to laugh and you deserve to feel good about yourself. Try to enjoy, or even celebrate, your existence and your happiness. Share it with the world!
The world, including yourself, spends too much time and effort punishing you and trying to bring you down anyways. So, you may as well enjoy as much of it celebrating and DOING LIFE, in order to maximize your time on this Earth.

Be the light at the end of the tunnel for yourself and for others.
Happiness, joy, and a love for life is contagious, and it will be the only thing I will be catching this year.

#YOLO

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

The Best In The Midwest

Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Wisconsin…

WOW! You sure do live up to your name! YOU TRULY BLEW ME OUT OF THE WATER.

I truly did not know exactly what the state of Wisconsin was going to be like, let along what it was going to look like.
I imagined Wisconsin to be completely different than what it turned out to be, and boy, am I glad that my imagination downplayed the beauty of Wisconsin, because I was SHOCKED at how beautiful it was once I had arrived.

Wisconsin is an oasis, with lakes at every exit of the highway!
There was a surplus of lakes and lush greenery, and it was truly breathtaking.
Summers in Wisconsin are the definition of bliss.
The scenery within the state of Wisconsin is stunning! I would have to agree that it is truly the best in the Midwest.IMG_3224IMG_3202IMG_3201IMG_3200IMG_3199IMG_3198IMG_3197IMG_3196IMG_3114IMG_3113IMG_3112

Being so close to any water, whether it be a lake, river, etc., is a concept that is completely unfamiliar to me, as I grew up in the landlocked state of Colorado. I never grew up around water, so playing by and playing on the water was something that was extremely exciting for me.

While “lake life” in Wisconsin can not be beat, neither can the sunsets.
During my short-but-sweet stay in Wisconsin,  I saw a handful of breathtaking sunsets that literally had my jaw all the way to the floor.
Most of my time was spent in Occonomowac, Wisconsin on Lac La Belle, and watching the sunsets from the lake was one of the most incredible things I have witnessed!
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I even had multiple opportunities to watch the fireworks of the lake, which was another gorgeous site and one that should not have been missed!
Due to the fireban that extends throughout Colorado, I will not be able to experience an AMAZING firework show, and normally, do not get the opportunity to watch them.
Every night, there always seemed to be at least one firework show happening in the distance. I finally got to see a REAL FIREWORK SHOW at least once a day.

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I clearly had no idea what I was missing out on!

Lac La Belle was gorgeous, if you could not already tell, and a great place to cool off for the Summer.
I spent A SURPLUS of time in the lake, as this was my first time spending significant amounts of time by the water.
My irrational fear of deep water, even though I can swim and participated in swim team, subsided, as the calm and serenity of the lake overtook my irrational fear.
I spent as many hours as possible swimming in the lake, tanning by the lake, tanning on the water, jet skiing, on boat rides, and even paddle boarding.
These are all activities that I cannot normally do in Boulder, Colorado, so I found them especially exciting.
I also finally got to wear and use my numerous bathing suits for reasons other than tanning, or not actually going in the water. Some of my bathing suits saw more action than they have in years, and their entire existence!

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It took 23 years for me to finally get to know the water on a more deeper level, but I definitely do not regret it for a second.

Lake culture is super exciting and it was a pleasure getting to know all the rules of the lake. Ironically, or not so ironically, the number one rule of the lake is the golden rule, which is treat people how you want to be treated.
People were extremely friendly on the lake, if that was any consolation that the world still does have good, friendly people around.

The toys that people had for the lake were GREAT, and so much fun to play with. I had never seen so many paddle boards, jet skies, boats, floaties of all shapes, sizes, and species, etc. I just wanted to play with them all!
The most challenging part of the trip was making sure to allocate my time appropriately, so I could get acquainted with every lake toy that I had access to.

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To say that I had fun is an understatement, because this one of my favorite trips that I have ever been on in a while! I honestly did not expect to have this fun, or rather did not know that I could have this much fun!!
I was a little bit out of my comfort zone, however, that was exactly what I was looking for.

Wisconsin allowed me the power to mentally, emotionally, and physically take a vacation from my current reality in Boulder, Colorado, which had been stressing me out.
My goal of my vacation time in Wisconsin was simply to leave my worries, anxieties, and circumstances at home, and do exactly what one is to do on vacation, which is to relax, have fun, and to forget that you have any worries.
It will forever hold a special place in my heart and I will never forget it.
I am looking for some more vacations to Wisconsin, especially in the Summer and by any lake for that matter!

My favorite part about Wisconsin, minus the beautiful scenery and landscape and the lake, was the custard that could be found everywhere! Growing up in Boulder, I did not get to indulge in much custard, but Wisconsin allows ample opportunities to get a taste of the good life.

Wisconsin has a certain kind of beauty and charm that captivated me and made me fall in love with the state!
Who would have thought that admist all the corn fields and flat horizons of the Midwest that it would contain such a beautiful place? I most certainly did not.

Wisconsin, your lakes, your beaches, your forestry, your sunsets and your custard will most certainly be missed!
I already miss waking up to a view of the blue waters of the lake.

I will be back to Wisconsin very soon, but I had to leave because the mountains (my job) were calling me back.

I would call Wisconsin a Summer’s paradise, and I would consider one of my favorite places to spend my Summers.
Where do you enjoy spending your Summers?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

 

Trippin’ Road

Monday, June 25, 2018, marks the first day of a very eventful and highly anticipated road trip. I will be making the journey from Boulder, Colorado to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with one of my dearest friends, Bria Schlossmann.

While our main mission is to drive her Jeep back to Milwaukee, we decided to use it as an excuse to spend time together, adventure, and finally execute a trip that we had always entertained for five years. This year it finally became a reality!

Bria is from Wisconsin, however, I am a Boulder native, who has left the Boulder bubble, but not enough. I figured if I could figure out arraignments for my obligations that I could experience the world just a little more. The world contains so many magical, all natural gifts and treasures that are begging to be recognized, admired, uncovered, and shared.

Our first day was quite eventful, as we crossed the Colorado border into Nebraska.

We also made a pit stop at Fort Morgan, Colorado. Fort Morgan is a fairly small farm town and it seemed fairly traditional! There is something about those small towns that are charming, because they contain their own local gems that give the town a personality.

Of course, as we were leaving Colorado and entering Nebraska, we could not help but grab a picture at the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado.” This ended up being a little more of an obstacle for us, as I forced Bria to get off at the nearest exit and go in the opposite direction that we were supposed to be driving in JUST TO GET THIS PICTURE.

We did not skip a beat, proceeding to grab pictures at the “Welcome to Nebraska” sign, just because we can.

Staring at endless fields of corn, wheat, grass, etc. has always been fairly soothing for me to look at. Man, these fields sure do make the Earth seem like it could possibly be flat, but only part-time. The landscape is beautiful in its own unique way, and truly depends on perspective. Colorado and Nebraska had a surplus of endless fields, and luckily these fields looked far from dry, but very green and lush! This made me very happy and grateful for the rain that our nation has been receiving.

The sky was what was up!! The clouds were so breathtaking to look at, as they seemed to be just as endless as the fields, as you could see them for miles. The clouds also seemed friendlier than usual, appearing to hang lower and closer to the ground than normal. The sky was captivating to be around

On our second day, we made our way through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and finally made it to Wisconsin.

The entire time we found ourselves chasing a storm, and at some points, the rain was so heavy that we could not see the roads.

I saw lots of wind farms….

corn….

and lots of beauty!

I also found a new appreciation for the sky and the clouds.

My two day road trip excursion was extremely exciting, full of laughs, good memories, and good conversation.

My vacation is only beginning, however. I will be spending some time with Bria and her family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as well as Elk Point, Wisconsin. I am looking forward to be spending time with them, and exploring Wisconsin in all of its’ glory.

What Summer trips do you have planned?

Drive safe, but trip road often!!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

Campin’ Chronicles | Camp Dick, Colorado

On June 22, 2018, two of my coworkers, plus their dogs, and I made our way up to the mountains, in order to engage in some all natural therapy for several days.
Camping in the Summer is an activity that is supremely popular in Colorado, so we decided to jump on the bangwagon and get campin’.

I have not been camping in a little bit, so this camping trip served as an excellent way to dip my toes back in the water.

As a kid, my parents took my brother and I camping pretty regularly. But, as I grew older, the camping trips became much more of a rare occassion.
Throughout my high school and collegiate careers, I went camping at least once or twice a year, but still it did not compare to the number of camping trips that I went on as a child. Plus, these camping trips tended to get more *wild,* as they were unsupervised, only consisting of a group of high school-aged kids, or college kids, who did everything but be responsible.
Let us just say that those camping trips consisted of a surplus of low-grade vodka, usually Burnetts, UV, or McCormicks, and a bunch of 30-racks of Rolling Rock or Natty Ice.
But, what better place to celebrate being reckless, or engage in underage drinking, than in the wild, with views that extend 360 degrees? Might as well be irresponsible, in nature, where the views are endless and breathtaking. Plus, the sudden rise in elevation guaranteed that at least one person would end up either peeing themselves, “blacked out,” or passed out somewhere in the woods, or in someone’s car.

This camping trip was the first one of the Summer! My friends, their dogs, and myself made our way to Peaceful Valley, Colorado, to a campsite named “Camp Dick.” The campsite was completely full and occupied with eager campers and families.

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Our campsite was located in the middle of Camp Dick, so we had some pretty great views! The campsite was located in a valley that was completely covered in green, lush trees, almost making it seem as if we were in a forest!
While Sunday, June, 24, was a fairly cloudy and rainy day, Friday and Saturday were some of the sunniest and warmest days ever! Even in the middle of the mountains, where the temperatures are supposedly cooler than in Boulder, Colorado, I found myself sweating and complaining about being “too hot,” or “way too warm.”
Camp Dick had a lot more to offer than we even expected, including a beautiful creek, or river, that ran through the entire campsite! Beyond the creek, one could find infinite amounts of trees and forestry until the eye could extend.
It was incredibly calming to be completely surrounded by nature, or to be isolated from “the real world.” The sounds of nature and the simplicity of nature serve as some of my most favorite anti-anxiety agents! Processed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_2958
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The main source of entertainment, minus spending time in nature, attempting to start a camp fire, and making friends with 5-years-olds, was definitely the dogs that decided to accompany us on our trip!
My coworkers have own of the cutest dogs, or best friends, ever!!
Seeing them in the wild, or in their element outside of doggy day care, was extremely comical and AWESOME.
This weekend solidified my place as reigning godmother to both of these beautiful, eccentric dogs who continue to fill my life with love, happiness, and barking.
Harlee Jo, a red heeler australian cattle dog puppy, is currently five months old, and is one of my favorite playmates ever! She is the definition of a puppy and still does have a lot to learn, however, she is the most fun puppy ever known to man! Not to mention, she is one of the most unique and breathtaking puppies I have ever set eyes on. Harlee is seriously one of the prettiest cattle dogs that I have ever layed eyes on and I am completely obsessed with her. There is never a dull moment with Harlee Jo!
Minnie, a chiwuini, is a little over one-years-old, but do not let her extremely small body fool you! She has the biggest personality ever known to man and a very expressive soul, existence, and face! Minnie resembles a character from a Disney/Pixar movie, and I think that she is so incredibly animated. She is one of the most loving and sassy girls I know!

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How have you been spending your Summer nights? Have you gone camping this summer?

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

HBD 2 ME!

“Happy birthday to me, I blew up a zoo, I look like a monkey and I am 102!”
My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, and lands on the tenth day of June.

I am not quite the biggest fan of my birthday, or drawing any unnecessary attention to myself.
Also, what do you do when people are singing “Happy Birthday” to you? Who do you look at? What do you look at?

My birthday has always been kind to me, but my birthdays in my 20s have not been my best, or even that kind to me.
This year, I was turning 23-years old, and for the first time in my 20s, I was fairly excited for this birthday, but probably for reasons beyond having an excuse to put my party pants on and get myself in trouble.

For the first time in my 20s, I am finally beginning to learn to love myself, to learn to exhibit qualities of conscious and aware person, to learn to understand myself, to learn to hold myself accountable, to learn to make better decisions, to learn to take care of myself, to learn to become independent, and to recognize and to embrace consistency within my life. I also have finally for the first time feel like I have stability and consistency within my life, which is a refreshing blessing and realization to come. It has brought me so much more happiness and love into my life, but I will admit that from time-to-time I find myself frustrated with consistency, stability, and routines within my life.

With all this said, my expectations for my birthday and my celebratory events are fairly minimal and not overwhelming, as I have come to realize that most people’s 23rd birthday expectations and celebrations are much more extravagant and involve more drinking and partying than my own.
I wanted to treat my birthday like a normal day, and engage in activities that I had been attempting to do for a while. None of these activities I had planned involved drinking, as the thought of drinking excessively disgusted me. This year, I wanted to have a meaningful birthday, where I truly recognized the importance and the beauty behind a birthday, which is essentially the blessing of making it to another year of life.

My birthday began with an early morning trip to the Butterfly Pavilion, a place that I had been trying to go to for a while now. The Butterfly Pavilion is a pavilion full of butterflies, just as the name of the institution explains.
As a child, I had visited the Butterfly Pavilion various times, but it had been at least 12-years since I had been there last. It was almost like I was going for the first time!

The beginning of the exhibits at the Butterfly Pavilion consisted of a wide variety of unique insects, who had most certainly been specially selected to be put on display. The first room of animals consisted of displays full of insects and bugs, including a array of beetles, bees, and crickets to name a few. The insect section totally frightened me, but I still found myself looking into the glass displays that were occupied with diverse “insectual” creatures. In addition to these various insects and bugs displayed, this first section of exhibit also contained the second noteable, if not the most noteable, feature of the Butterfly Pavilion, which is the giant tarantula, Rosie. Rosie is quite iconic and the Butterfly Pavilion’s most famous exhibit, as they allow individuals to hold and pet her. Rosie is just about the only thing that I remember about the Butterfly Pavilion from my frequent childhood visits here.
As a child, I was too afraid to interact to personally with an arachnid, as I have arachnaphobia. Not to mention, she is huge! And, as a young adult, I have the same feelings about interacting to intimately with Rosie, and I made the same decision I have continued to make since my childhood, which was to simply not let Rosie into my personal bubble space. Basically, I still am just as afraid of Rosie as I was when I was a child, and not even $1 million could make me hold, pet, or coddle Rosie. I do not think this will change any time soon.
My favorite part about the insect section was how aesthetically pleasing all these glass displays were decorated, in order for these insects to grow, thrive, and live. Many of the displays contained succulents, cacti, etc.

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The second half of the exhibit also included a wide variety of unique animals, but instead of bugs and insects, this exhibit displayed a variety of marine creatures, including an octupus, slipper lobster, and crabs to name a few. This section was very cool, and also involved an interactive station that allowed one to pet an ancient horseshoe crab. I was much less hesistant to pet a horseshoe crab than I was to hold Rosie the Tarantula. Petting a horseshoe crab felt exactly like what it sounded like, as I was essentially petting a crab shell. I must say that it felt very smooth!
I have never seen a horseshoe crab in person, so this was a first for me! In a very strange way, the horseshoe crab was kind of cute and mildly facisnating!Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

Now, onto the next section of the Butterfly Pavilion…
The next and final portion of the Butterfly Pavilion was in fact the Wings Of the Tropics conservatory, which not only houses and holds all the beautiful and extravagant butterflies, but also mimics butterflies’ natural habitat! A butterfly’s natural habitat is a tropical rainforest, so the conservatory is full of lush plants and flora, and mimics the damp, wet environment of a tropical rainforest, with a very functional roof top sprinkler system that allows for the conservatory to accurately exhibit all tropical features, as well as allow for the butterflies to naturally live their lives in an environment that allows them to thrive and fly freely.
The number of butterflies and months were outstanding, and the pavilion’s collection of butterflies were quite extensive. While I was expecting to see a lot of butterflies, the conservatory managed to baffle me by containing about triple the number of butterflies than I even anticipated. Everywhere I looked, or did not look, there were butterflies.
Some were mating, some were playing, some were flying into eachother, some were dead, some were sucking nectar, and some were trying to land on me.
The idea of interacting with butterflies very intimately seems appealing and much easier than I realized, as I did not know how much butterflies (kind of, sort of) scared me. Bugs and insects, even though I find butterflies completely facisnating and such beautiful creatures, seem to creep me out more than anything else in this world. After closely inspecting a butterfly sucking nectar out of a pink flower, I quickly noticed how “insect-like” these creatures were, which kind of freaked me out. While their wings do not scare me, it seems that the rest of their physical characteristics, which resemble insect-like bodies, ultimately set me off and made me fearful of them making contact with them.
While I had no real intention of making contact with a butterfly, NOT EVEN FOR AN INSTAGRAM, a butterfly still managed to land on me. I managed to capture the entire event on video, which features me minding my own business filming two butterflies who seem to be playing together. The video takes a turn for the worst when one butterfly begins to steer away from the other one, and begins slowly making its’ way towards my leg.
But, what are the chances that a butterfly lands on you? Not very high, that is for sure!
My immediate reaction to this butterfly landing on my leg was a high-pitched, almost defeaning yell of terror, fear, and uncomfortability. This was not the reaction I was hoping to have when the butterfly landed on me, but once again, my trip to the Butterfly Pavilion only made it clear to me that, while I do enjoy the existence of butterflies, they also mildly terrify me with their insect-like mannerisms and physical characteristics.
The assortment of butterflies and months was mindblowing to witness. There were butterflies of every color of the rainbow!
The monarch butterfly was the only speices of butterflies that I knew, and I was luckily able to see one in the flesh during my time in the conservatory!

As the day matured, I slowly made my way down to Denver, Colorado, for a few more attractions, including Voodoo Donuts, Benihana’s, and Queen City General Store.
Voodoo Donuts has some of the best donuts and most extravagant donuts, with some of the best toppings and flavors I have ever eaten. A dozen of these carefully crafted donuts was more than enough to crave my sweet tooth, or my sugar addiction.

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Queen City General Store was one of my favorite stops, during my birthday adventure/extravagantza. This eclectic store sold a variety of very hip, very vintage, and very cool items, all ranging from succulents, to jewelry, to Levi’s, to plant holders, to artwork. This store carried everything!
The ambiance and the decor of the store was intriguing and aesthetically pleasing, as I generally love stores such as these. They are truly one-of-a-kind, and as a result of their uniqueness, their inventory features one-of-a-kind merchandise.
The array of succulents, and the diversity of succulents, was incredible, making it virtually very hard to choose three succulents to call my own, as well as my birthday gift. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset
The jewelry featured in the store was remarkable and most certainly radiated beauty. The collection of pieces that were showcased were so unique, spunky, yet tasteful, all while being simplistic. I had never seen such a collection of jewelry that I truly enjoyed like I did the pieces at Queen City General Store!
The overall vibe of the store was trendy, and the jewelry only affirmed the trendiness of the store!Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I walked out of the store with a three new plant friends, which I could call my very own. I also managed to name these new companions of mine, naming the cactus, Pokè, naming the other smaller and pointy succulent, Piper, as the branches of the succulent reminded me of pipes, and finally the Echeveria succulent, or the flower shaped succulent, or the biggest succulent of the bunch, was named Poppy.

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But, wait…what was my favorite part of the entire store (Queen City General Store)? You may ask…
And, my answer is the DISCO BALLS!
The interior decoration of the store was beyond exceptional, and I found so much inspiration within the four walls of this store.
Beyond the eclectic merchandise sold, the interior decoration of the store was completely unique, fun, and imitation-worthy, meaning that I would most definitely imitate certain aspects of the decor and incorporate it into the design of my current apartment in a heartbeat.

DISCO BALLS ARE SO FUN, FUNKY, ECLECTIC, VISUALLY STIMULATING, COOL, TRENDY, AND UNDERRATED, so you can only imagine how excited I was to see them being used for a good cause.
The disco balls only elevated the “coolness” of the store, and may be 38% of the reason why I will be returning to this “very cool store.”Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

My birthday was a success for those who were wondering, and I feel very blessed, stressed, happy, proud, accomplished, and foolish for another opporutnity to live another day, and hopefully another year!
While birthdays, especially birthdays when you are in your 20s, are supposed to celebrated with mass amounts of booze, excessive amounts of poor decisions, and all-night partying, mine was very simplistic and very sober, as I truly wanted to appreciate the simple, yet profound idea behind a birthday.
I try to treat every day as a birthday, which is potentially why I am unable to perform in the party department like many of my peers on my actual birthday. For some reason, it truly makes me uncomfortable!!!
I felt very loved this year on my birthday, as it was full of many texts, phone calls, and verbal messages from loved ones that wished me a wonderful day, and a wonderful year, as I rang in my 23rd year of life.
This year, instead of focusing on all the individuals who did not acknowledge my birthday, I focused most of my energy on all the individuals who went out of their way to wish me the best in life and the best birthday yet! The amount of love I received was phenomenal, and all my good friends, and the ones who truly matter, gently reminded me how much I am loved on that day.

I am extremely excited for my 23rd year of life! I am looking forward to making many mistakes, accomplishing many goals, pushing myself beyond my boundaries, being happy, making more memories, experiencing new things, learning how to adult more efficiently, working my a$$ off, and all the opportunities that may come my way.
I have a feeling that this year of my life will be FREAKING AWESOME, and I am very excited to embark on this journey!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL MY JUNE BABIES & GEMINIS!!
THIS YEAR OF YOUR LIFE WILL BE THE BEST YET (I HOPE)!

What is your favorite way to celebrate your birthday? What is your favorite memory from your last birthday?

“PARTY LIKE IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY EVERY DAY” -Lil’ Jon, LMFAO, every rapper ever, society, etc..

Also, a huge shoutout to all my loved, friends and family included, who wished me a happy birthday and contributed to making my birthday such a great, simple, and magical day! It means a lot!

xo,

Aichan Tewahade